BOGOTA – The executive president of the Telefonica Foundation, Cesar Alierta, said on Wednesday in Bogota that the growth in foreign investment in Colombia “is going to be spectacular” once the peace accord with the FARC guerrillas is finalized.
“As a consequence of the peace process, foreign investment is going to be spectacular. It’s going to have a tremendous carryover effect on medium and small businesses,” said Alierta while participating on the “Economy in the Post-conflict” panel, at the “Benefits of Peace in Colombia” forum organized by the Good Government Foundation and the Prisa Group.
Also participating in the panel were the heads of BBVA Colombia, Oscar Cabrera; Telefonica in Colombia, Alfonso Gomez Palacio; and the Decameron hotel chain, Fabio Villegas; along with Latinoamerica Suez sales director, Bruno Bastos.
Referring to small and medium businesses in Colombia, Alierta said that peace will have a “very clear effect” on the country’s economy.
On Aug. 24, the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, in Havana initialed a peace pact after almost four years of negotiations, and the document will be formally signed on Sept. 26 at a solemn ceremony in Cartagena, and will then be submitted to a popular referendum on Oct. 2.
Alierta remarked that among its other benefits, peace will bring a “significant” increase in per capita income and “much greater earnings,” which will mean an improvement in healthcare and education because the state will have more resources.
He also said that he does not understand the “skepticism seen” in certain sectors of Colombia with regard to the peace pact.
Alierta noted that several weeks ago he met with Pope Francis, who told him that peace in Colombian is very important not only for the country but also for the region and the world.
“What Colombia is going to show and has already shown is that peace is possible and that is going to be a model on the world level,” he emphasized.
Alierta said that the South American country will move from being in the news for negative reasons to “being the reference point to which the world looks to resolve conflicts.”